The York Water Co. has announced it will replace customer-owned lead service lines — as long as property owners ask the company to do so.

The company previously announced its plan to replace all company-owned lead service lines during the next four years and recently received approval from the state Public Utility Commission to replace up to 400 customer lines each year.

Government-mandated testing done in September showed elevated levels of lead in some customers' water. Six homes out of 50 tested showed high levels of lead in tap water, resulting in mandated action by the water company.

Because of the test results, the company was required to notify all customers of the findings, provide education and replace 7 percent of company-owned service lines per year.

According to information on the company's website, York Water Co. already had been replacing 7 percent of service lines per year, and last year's testing caused the company to increase that to 25 percent of service lines per year.

Though only 3 percent of customers have company-owned service lines that are made of lead, the company was required to educate all customers on lead in water in homes, which could get into the water through a lead service line, leaded solder in a property or lead in plumbing fixtures.

Since the company doesn't own those lines, company President Jeff Hines said they are asking customers who live in pre-1940s homes with lead service lines to contact them to schedule replacement.

Hines said the PUC has authorized the company to cover up to $1,250 of the cost per replacement, which should fully cover most projects. York Water Co. will offer no-interest finance payment plans for any customers whose replacements exceed $1,250, he added.

The company also is offering to provide partial refunds to any customers who have replaced their lead service lines during the past four years.

Those who replaced their lead service lines between March 2013 and March 2014 will receive a check for 20 percent of the cost; those who replaced their lines between March 2014 and March 2015 will receive a check for 40 percent of the cost; those who replaced their lines between March 2015 and March 2016 will receive a check for 60 percent of the cost; and those who replaced their lines between March 2016 and March 2017 will receive a check for 80 percent of the cost.

Customers must provide a bill from a certified plumber to receive a check, according to the release.

Those unsure of whether they have a lead service line can visit or call the company at 717-845-3601.

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